Various Artists

New World Chill, Vol. 2

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A soothing mix of ten downtempo, worldbeat-inspired tracks from seven different artists, New World Chill, Vol. 2, from System Recordings, is meant for those who wish to explore new sounds while still remaining comfortably in the mainstream electronica realm. Somewhat in the vein of Delerium ("Revelations," for example, by Gallo, who has four songs included, could have -- minus the synthetic flutes -- come off of Karma), the collection focuses on soft and poignant instrumentals, organic-sounding beats, and layered harmonies. But the album does a good job of not getting so caught up in ambience that it loses its purpose and becomes cheesy; it's affective without being saccharine, haunting without seeming forced. The artists included aren't particularly well known, but that's not the point, and it doesn't matter anyway, because they do what they're supposed to do. Given this nice follow-up to Vol. 1, New World Chill is proving to be a pretty good series.

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